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What’s the deal with... Donk baths?

Gong baths – but put a donk on it

By Chal Ravens
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A what bath? Are we getting wet?
Nope! So, there are two distinct concepts here. First, you know about gong baths, right?

So we are getting wet.
Still nope. A gong bath is also known as a sound bath, and some practitioners like to say it’s a shortcut to meditation. Basically, you lie down on a mat, close your eyes and let your mind drift off as someone plays gongs at you for an hour – and maybe other instruments, like accordions or conch shells. The idea is that you come out feeling refreshed, perhaps even healed, by the tones. The effect might last for several days.

Sounds a bit whoo-y, but I like lying down. And… ‘donk’?
Donk is a proud musical tradition in north-west towns like Bolton and Wigan. About ten years ago some avant-garde youngsters discovered that if you take the fastest, stupidest happy hardcore, throw in a few MCs rapping in Lancashire accents and add the famous ‘donk’ bass (imagine a drainpipe being hit by a table tennis bat), you get rave magic. Combine the two: donk bath.

That sounds like an unholy combination.
A fair assessment, yes. We got in touch with some donk bathers ahead of this week’s ritual in Manor House, and it all got a bit weird. There’s a ‘guru’ behind it, apparently, who has come down from Wigan to teach us southern softies. One of his followers told us about the healing properties of donk, explaining that ‘the ultimate goal is to reset the mind to factory settings, so that we may move closer to, and better understand, the Ultimate State of Peace, where all donks in the universe are equally spaced’.

Equally spaced donks? That sounds like a rave.
Which might indeed be the case. We do know that strobes are integral to the procedure.

I’ll dig out my popper trousers.
That’s the spirit. Once you leave the ritual feeling suitably donked up, you can go straight into a proper party – Electrolights AV will have live audiovisual sets from artists including A’Bear and Deathly Pale Party.

Donk Bath takes place at New River Studios on Sat Oct 19. Find out more here 

Check out Time Outs guide to London’s best clubs and club nights

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